The future of robotic-assisted surgery emerges ever closer with the news of Corindus Vascular Robotics's new CorPath GRX System being successfully used to enable robotic-assisted percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) at the recent Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2018 (TCT) conference. The technology was used to perform the first live transmission of a hybrid chronic total occlusion PCI using both manual and robotic techniques to successfully treat a patient suffering from a complete coronary artery blockage.
The CorPath System is described by the company as the first and only FDA-cleared medical device that can bring robotic precision to both percutaneous coronary intervention and peripheral vascular intervention procedures. It’s a second-generation robotic-assisted system built on the foundation of its predecessor, the CorPath 200, which had seen clinical success with more than 5000 robotic cases completed across more than 50 programs worldwide.
“The CorPath GRX System enhances the CorPath platform by adding important key upgrades that increase precision, improve workflow, and extend the capabilities and range of procedures that can be performed robotically,” said Mark Toland, president and CEO of Corindus. “With CorPath GRX, Corindus Vascular Robotics brings robotic precision to interventional procedures to help optimize outcomes and minimize the costs associated with complications of improper stent placement during manual procedures. Corindus has invested heavily in the technology development and has made significant strides in things like procedural automation and remote capabilities, with the potential to reduce variability and expand access to care.”
When it comes to the current state of interventional procedures, there has been a significant amount of innovation in the devices used to treat patients over the last few years. However, the way the procedure is actually performed has remained relatively unchanged since the first angioplasty was performed over 40 years ago. Corindus believes that its new CorPath platform can be the first to fundamentally transform how interventions are performed to help enhance the precision and success of these procedures.
“This technology offers optimized robotic techniques that can tackle even the most complex procedures,” Toland said. “Many of our physician partners see that robotics add value in complex procedures. At this year’s TCT conference, Dr. Bill Lombardi performed a live robotic-assisted chronic total occlusion PCI. This procedure is one of the most-complex cases in cardiology and also one of the lengthiest procedures conducted with a high radiation dose. Dr. Lombardi approaches these types of procedures with a hybrid mindset, utilizing manual and robotic techniques for added precision and reduced radiation during the procedure.”
Toland said that the company is also exploring the safety and feasibility of remote treatment utilizing the CorPath GRX System with developmental remote technology. He said that geographic location, socioeconomic status, and a rapidly shrinking number of skilled specialists significantly hinder patient access to timely, specialized cardiovascular care. Developing a remote telerobotic interventional platform could have the potential to be the world’s first solution designed to deliver highly specialized and timely cardiovascular care to rural and underserved patient populations.
As the company looks toward the future, the CorPath GRX System has been cleared by FDA and has already begun to be used in various clinical settings. Toland saif that the next step is to build on the remote capabilities of the technology.
“We’ve successfully completed feasibility testing, conducted preclinical work in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, built a robust platform with strong connectivity, and even performed a remote PCI test case in a live animal model from over 100 miles away,” he said. “Over the next several months, we have planned milestones that will catapult telerobotics to the next level, including first-in-human use in India by the end of the year.”